Is this about tax breaks? Getting beyond the reach of congressional subpoenas? And what about all that sensitive information that Halliburton has had access to? At a minimum, reincorporating in Dubai would mean that Halliburton will be paying less taxes to the U.S. Treasury, even as it collects billions from government contracts.
The last paragraph of the FT story begins to answer the questions about Halliburton’s, uh, interestingly timed decision to move its corporate headquarters:
Dubai has long positioned itself as a regional business hub, with a laisser faire attitude to business regulations. The government has launched several free zones allowing foreign firms to circumvent laws barring foreigners owning businesses.
UPDATE: Henry Waxman is likely to hold a hearing on this, an aide tells me.
UPDATE UPDATE: Flounder’s comment made me wonder precisely where Halliburton is incorporated now. According to this 2004 GAO report, the company is incorporated in Delaware, but has (or had at that time) 17 subsidiaries in tax-haven countries. Halliburton says it will remain incorporated in the United States.